Political Concerns Mount in Washington

February 16, 1864

Cabinet meeting is held at the White House – apparently without Secretary of Chase Salmon P. Chase, whose presidential nomination is being pushed by his friends in the Senate and House.  Illinois Secretary of State Ozias M. Hatch, a close Lincoln political associate, writes President Lincoln: “Several of the friends of General Oglesby, and Mr [State Auditor Jessee] Dubois, — Uncle Jesse — would dislike very much to see an ugly contest between them, before the convention, for the nomination as candidates for governor.

They now appear to be more prominent than other candidates, — both are qualified for the position, but one can be nominated. The succeeding four years may be as pregnant with great events as the last three years have been, — and it is of the utmost importance to the Government as well as to the State, that the interests of both, be entrusted to experienced hands, that they may have a safe delivery.

For one, I feel certain, that Illinois is loyal, and will demonstrate it, not only in the convention, but at the polls — in November: I am certain that Jesse desires the nomination much, — and knowing as I do, that there is no man more conversant, with the affairs, or interests, of the State than he is — I feel that they would be entirely safe, in his hands. Mistakes might be made — but I am certain, they would be few in number, and unimportant as to their effect. We are certain that you can, if you will, reconcile these difficulties, and hope you will do so. I say we, because I have conversed with many of our friends upon the subject.

President Lincoln writes Secretary of State William H. Seward on another political subject: “Hon. W. H. Wallace formerly of Washington Territory and now of Idaho, says that Elwood Evans, Secretary of Washington T. was appointed at his — Mr Ws recommendation, and that he has gone wholly over to the enemy, using the patronage to establish and uphold a paper to oppose & embarrass the Administration.”  Wallace was an attorney who had represented the territory of Washington in Congress before being appointed territorial governor of Idaho.

General Frederick Steele writes President Lincoln regarding Arkansas: “On what day have you ordered the Election in this State & do your instructions to me correspond with the action of the Convention?”

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Published in: on February 16, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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